The fashion industry is a major consumer of energy, and is in need of a careful redesign. In the increasingly global and competitive market, firms are adopting strategies to generate value and brand loyalty. This article explores how Canadian fashion firms are taking advantage of the landscape to create distinction, value and brand loyalty. Environmental consultants working in the fashion industry can evaluate or help design environmental policies, rules, and standards that a clothing company implements or expects to implement.
Taking responsibility for the fashion industry can be different for different people at different times in their lives. Consumers can influence the fashion industry by changing their own consumer habits around constantly buying and disposing of clothes. In 1997, the Canadian economy experienced strong growth of 4.1% of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). One in six people works in a fashion-related occupation, and more than 80% of garment workers are low-paid women or girls, according to Fair Trade Certified.
As the notion of sustainability takes hold in various sectors of the economy, Canada's fashion industry is joining the action. In his expert opinion, sustainable things and processes in fashion should also be “environmentally rational, socially just and equitable, culturally respectful, humane and economically viable”. This premise is supported by at least one of the initiatives instituted by the Quebec government in 1994 to promote fashion design and increase sales of high-quality garments with high added value. The fashion industry requires a degree or certification in business management, environmental studies, bioengineering or a related field.
Professionals must also have a deep knowledge of sustainable practices in the fashion industry. People use fashion to inspire and influence positive social change. Each person may be in a unique position to contribute, in some way big or small, to making fashion more sustainable as a global company. Fashion firms explicitly use the landscape in their brands to connect with Canadian identity and (re) create conceptualizations of Canadian identity.
This document brings together the literature of economic geography on the marking of places and the literature of cultural geography on landscape and identity, and makes a methodological contribution to the incipient examinations of social networks and sources of visual data in geography.